No one and nothing can be greater than Mother Nature – she never ceases to amaze us. Even after she has wreaked havoc, she leaves us with a new, rare, and staggeringly beautiful phenomenon that we thought only exists in fairy tales and fantasy movies.
Have you been to an underwater forest? If not, you should really check out a riparian forest in the Olho d’Água (“eye of the water”) river. The river is known for its crystal-clear waters. It is located in the Recanto Ecológico Rio da Prata wildlife park and nature reserve, Mato Grosso do Sul, in Brazil’s Pantanal region.
The clarity of Olho d’Água’s rivers comes from minerals that quickly take out dirt and impurities as they descend to the bottom of the river.
The river gets flooded only once every seven years. Over 150 millimeters of rainfall gather in the Jardim area during a single downpour. The increase in water levels causes the banks of two rivers to burst and flood the forest, resulting in submerged hiking trails, bridges, signposts, and plant life – you can even see fruit-bearing banana trees there!
The overall scenery is eerie, surreal, and magical – all at the same time.
While most flooded rivers would turn themselves into a muddy, murky mess, the waters of the Olho d’Água river remain perfectly crystal-clear, adding another level of beauty under the surface.
The Olho d’Água river has become an attractive venue for divers and snorkelers. Divers can reach the bottom to walk along the footpaths in some areas, surrounded by lush plant life that remains hauntingly motionless, giving the submerged jungle an eerily misty glow. And seeing fish swim by makes everything utterly surreal! It is definitely a unique diving experience.
In 2018, park ranger Waldemilson Vera discovered the underwater wonderland while overseeing the site. Mesmerized, he took out a video camera and filmed his subaquatic jungle journey, including an image of a bridge that seemed to go on forever.
Can you imagine yourself floating weightlessly through this hauntingly beautiful underwater paradise?
At the end of the day, the river usually returns to its normal water levels.
If you ever fancy visiting the park, it is still quite water-heavy. Even when the park and nature reserve aren’t flooded, visitors can still participate in the dual trail-and-snorkeling tour. The trail takes visitors through the forest and takes them past the wildlife, including exotic birds and monkeys. After that, visitors get into their snorkeling gear and venture down into Olho d’Água’s lucid waters.
As said before, this amazing occurrence happens just once every seven years. If there’s the opportunity, will you take the plunge? We’re sure you won’t definitely miss it!
Interested in more underwater adventures? You can also check out this amazing submerged ancient Chinese city!